With unmanned aerial vehicle(s) (UAV), swift responses to urgent needs (such as search and rescue missions or medical deliveries) can be realized. Simultaneously, legislators are establishing so-called geographical zones, which restrict UAV operations to mitigate air and ground risks to third parties. These geographical zones serve particular safety interests but they may also hinder the efficient usage of UAVs in time-critical missions with range-limiting battery capacities. In this study, we address a facility location problem for up to two UAV hangars and combine it with a routing problem of a standard UAV mission to consider geographical zones as restricted areas, battery constraints, and the impact of wind to increase the robustness of the solution. To this end, water rescue missions are used exemplary, for which positive and negative location factors for UAV hangars and areas of increased drowning risk as demand points are derived from open-source georeferenced data. Optimum UAV mission trajectories are computed with an A* algorithm, considering five different restriction scenarios. As this pathfinding is very time-consuming, binary occupancy grids and image-processing algorithms accelerate the computation by identifying either entirely inaccessible or restriction-free connections beforehand. For the optimum UAV hangar locations, we maximize accessibility while minimizing the service times to the hotspots, resulting in a decrease from the average service time of 570.4 s for all facility candidates to 351.1 s for one and 287.2 s for two optimum UAV hangar locations.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Mar 2023|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Facility location problem, Open source georeferenced data, Search & rescue mission planning, UAS geographical zone, optimum UAV hangar location, open source georeferenced data, search & rescue mission planning, facility location problem